Movie Review: Alita Battle Angel
“Science, in all its greatness, is still subject to human creativity. It starts the first moment a child tries to reach up and grab at the clouds. Soon, the child learns that his own hands cannot reach the sky, but his hands are not the limit of his potential. For the human brain observes, considers, understands, and adapts. Locked within the mind is infinite possibility.” ~ Yukito Kishiro (author of Battle Angel Alita)
So I saw the ads and trailer for Alita Battle Angel and thought it might be worth checking out, Hollywood is putting out so few good big screen movies these days I thought this one might be fun on the big screen. Not 3D mind you, I really don’t like it and rarely do it. I was on the fence when I read a quick piece about how the producers and director really wanted to put people squarely in the uncanny valley with the main CGI character, Alita. For those not familiar with the term, the uncanny valley, it is the feeling of being creeped out by something that gets a little too close to being real, without actually being real. The dichotomy ends up creeping people out and it has been a problem with utilizing CGI humans in a film.
So that clinched it, big screen, action, science fiction and purposely trying to be creeped out, I was in. I kept my expectations low, I expected a basic science fiction, underdog takes on the big guy film and no spoiler but that’s exactly what I got. I saw some people online complaining that since you needed to background reading to understand the film they were out. Well, those folks either didn’t actually see the film or are really stupid, you’ll have no problem following the plot or discovering the background necessary as it unfolds the way the writers intended.
Although the CGI had no creep out effect at all it was really impressive right from the first shot. The first time the camera goes in to really look at Alita, I became instantly impressed with how far the digital artists have advanced CGI techniques. Alita looks so close to real that as the movie progresses, as she’s being displayed next to live actors, you really forget she’s a CGI.
So all in all, it’s a cool fun big screen movie, just don’t go to Crossgates Cinema in NY, it was bloody $13.70 for a matinée. Utterly ridiculous pricing and probably explains why quite happily I had the theater to myself.